Online forum 

These forums are a place where you can ask other young people advice on dealing with tough times and share your advice on what has worked for you. Please remember that it does not replace professional advice.

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

You should also have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online communityLogin to post


Topic: Struggling with feelings of emptiness and apathy.

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Ubysmal
    Ubysmal avatar
    2 posts
    19 November 2018

    Alright this will be the first time I am admitting any of this to anyone; I'll try to keep it short and succinct.

    Quick note, I am 21 years old and am currently into the third year of my Uni degree.
    For the longest time I have always prided myself on being able to keep my emotions in check. Throughout my school life, I never let myself get stressed or upset and was able to suppress those upsetting feelings and push through the intense pressure put on me to do well in school. However, I think this coping mechanism backfired on me.
    As of late, I have been dealing with feelings of emotional emptiness. Since my parents messy divorce early last year, I have noticed that I constantly shut down emotionally. My mum cried constantly for the first 6 months after the separation, and I know it sounds horrible but I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable when she cried and vented her frustrations out to me. I almost resented her for it, getting irritated whenever she got upset or mentioned my dad in anyway. Now that I think of it, I have a tendency to avoid any situation where others are upset, or even situations that I think may make me upset.

    Currently, I just feel empty all the time, like my ability to regulate my emotions has become so profound that I hardly feel them at all. I now have no motivation to hang out in social situations with friends, and even when I do, the happiness and excitement I know I should be feeling are dulled. I think numb is the most accurate word for it. Like I constantly have a barrier up.
    And the only feelings that really do break through is anger. While I can usually hold back my frustration and irritation in public and with friends, I tend to lash out at home. I've been told by my mum and brother that they think I have 'anger management problems' on numerous occasions. I just don't know what I'm experiencing or whether it is normal. I don't feel sad, depressed, or empathy, and I don't feel anxiety, or when I do, it is dull and I can ignore it fairly easily.

    I think one of the worst parts of it all is that I'm so good at pretending be happy, or care, or even be upset, that no body can even tell that I'm doing it.
    Does anyone else experience this? I don't know what I should do about it or if there is even a real problem.
    If anyone can give me any advice, I'd really appreciate it.
  2. sisisierra
    sisisierra avatar
    18 posts
    20 November 2018

    Dear Ubysmal.

    Hi. I'm Sierra, and I have experienced similar stuff to you, especially the anger, and lashing out at people at home. And the dulled feelings.

    I'm super bad with conversation, so I'll keep it short.

    One way I cope is that I take time out of my day (At least an hour), to listen to music, and chill out and not think for a bit.

    I see a counselor every week, and I talk to my best friend through this, and he's kind enough to listen to my ranting.

    My parents are also divorced, and my mum always makes me feel guilty about my dad, and how he left. My dad is also pretty rude to my mum, and yells at her, and isn't kind to her family.

    I'm still figuring out a solution for this.

    I hope I wasn't horrible at anything, I'm not great with people.

    Sierra

  3. Ubysmal
    Ubysmal avatar
    2 posts
    20 November 2018 in reply to sisisierra

    Hey Sierra,

    Thanks for messaging - it's comforting to know someone else has the same feelings, especially since my home situation sounds pretty similar to yours. Hope all is well soon on that front for you.

    I often use music as a coping mechanism and its great to hear that works for you. Unfortunately, having time to myself (when I'm not focused and buried in homework) seems to cause me to revert into myself and kind of shut everything else out completely.

    I think it may be wise to see a professional at this point because I don't see myself getting better on my own. What are your experiences with counseling?

  4. sisisierra
    sisisierra avatar
    18 posts
    21 November 2018 in reply to Ubysmal

    Hi Ubysmal,

    I don't have much experience with counseling, as I was lucky with the school counselor on the second try, pretty much (I had one in primary school, but she wasn't great). I think you just have to find the right person. However, most of them are pretty nice, but it's a trial and error thing.

    Well, that's my experience, and that's all I really know.

    Sierra

  5. aggy2801
    aggy2801 avatar
    7 posts
    25 November 2018 in reply to Ubysmal

    Hi Ubysmal,

    I'm sorry that things have been messy for you and I understand that everything feels numb. I've experienced this at low points in my life, and people do get this feeling. I found that sitting down and taking moments to think helped me. Also doing things that i loved doing would remind me of what its like to feel happy. I think it's important that you talk to someone in real life, as telling someone in person would be a great way to express emotion. just letting you know I have no experience in phycology or anything in that field.

    Hope this helps